The Bill Lane Center announces 2022-2023 Western Media Fellows
The Bill Lane Center is proud to support journalism covering crucial issues facing the American West. Every year, we offer a Western Media Fellowship to underwrite stories that otherwise might not be told about the region's people, places, economies, and natural resources.
In this particularly competitive application season, we selected two awardees for the 2022-2023 cycle. Both are seasoned environmental reporters who will use Bill Lane Center funding to explore different aspects of natural resource management in California and the wider West.
Janet Wilson is an award-winning journalist for The Desert Sun and USA Today network where she covers climate change, water, energy, public lands, and other environmental news. With the Lane Center fellowship, she plans to explore water issues in the desert.
"Wilson will be investigating a complicated subject, and one that takes time to unravel. The reporting she is embarking on is critical. We are very eager to support it," said Felicity Barringer, writer in residence at the Bill Lane Center and a longtime environmental reporter herself.
Julia Simon, who has also been named a 2022-2023 Western Media Fellow, is a frequent contributor to NPR’s climate change desk where her reporting airs on "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." She’s also a regular contributor to NPR podcasts including "Planet Money," "The Indicator," "Life Kit," "Shortwave," and others. Simon's reporting will examine the growth of mining across the West in the context of climate change.
Barringer was equally impressed with Simon's project: "The sweep of her proposal, which springs from the roots of Western mining history and then reaches forward to see whether the dark side of that history will be resurrected in the hunt for renewable-energy minerals, made it irresistible."
We look forward to supporting Wilson and Simon's reporting on some of the greatest challenges facing the American West today. Their work will be completed at some point in the spring of 2023 and will be made widely available by the media outlets publishing it and Bill Lane Center digital channels.
Two new national monuments in the West; a Colorado ski haven using AI to get faster information about wildfire development; a 24-armed sea star that helps protect kelp forests may go extinct; a new system for rating atmospheric river strength; Yellowstone’s obsidian cliff offers a window on indigenous engineering, and more environmental news from the West.
Experts believe the Chinese balloon downed over the Atlantic coast this month was snooping on U.S. missile defenses. Part of the landscape for a half-century, they are headed for a costly refresh in an era of rising global tensions.